The Los Angeles Chargers needed to upgrade the offensive line this offseason. While they didn’t focus on that unit much in the draft, is it possible they found a player that can help following the selection process?
Blake Camper comes to the Chargers as an undrafted rookie from the University of South Carolina.
Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Camper was considered a three-star prospect and the 85th best offensive tackle in the country coming out of high school. He originally committed to attending Rutgers before changing his mind and going to South Carolina. He had offers from at least 10 major universities, including Louisville and West Virginia.
Camper saw action as a young player, making some spot starts as a freshman and sophomore as well as playing on special teams. He played in all 13 games as a junior but made just two starts.
He made a noticeable change for his senior season, getting stronger and bulking up in the weight room. He made six starts at right tackle and was chosen as the team’s winner of the Unselfish Award.
At 6-foot-8, he is the tallest player on the Chargers roster.
The Chargers could use a swing tackle off the bench, but there is plenty to say that Camper may not be good enough to be that guy. For one, Tom Telesco usually likes versatile offensive linemen on his roster. Camper only made starts at right tackle in college. In addition, after starting the first six games of his senior season, he was benched in favor of a true freshman.
That’s not the way you want your college career to end, but for Camper, he likely sees it as water under the bridge. He has his shot and he’ll be ready to make the most of it.
What is working in his favor is the lack of depth at the tackle position. Behind projected starters Russell Okung and Sam Tevi, the only other tackles on the roster are Trey Pipkins, Zach Crabtree and Trent Scott. Okung, Tevi and Pipkins will all make the roster, but there should be room for at least one more of those players.
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Chance of making 53-man roster (1-10 scale): 4
There is room for another tackle behind the three players you assume will make the team, but at this point, Camper likely sits behind Scott and Crabtree in the pecking order.
Playing at only right tackle in college isn’t the end of the world, but the fact that he made only 10 career starts could certainly work against him.
If the team can get some athleticism out of his massive frame, however, then he could be a diamond in the rough.